Newtown resident George Duncan met with C.H. Booth Library Interim Director Beryl Harrison on December 16 to formally present a photographic portrait to the library’s permanent collection. Mr Duncan has given the library a portrait of 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Alice Munro. The portrait of Ms Munro was taken in a studio in New York City and appeared in The New York Times Magazine in October 2004, timed to coincide with the publication of her short stories entitled Runaway. An alternate image of the one that appeared in the article, the portrait donated to the library is Mr Duncan’s personal favorite from the photo shoot.
Vancouver-based vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Robyn McCorquodale is among those around the world who was “rocked by the mass shooting and loss of 20 first-graders and six educators. An unimaginable assault on beautiful human life,” she said. In response, she has written and recorded a single, “Garden of Angels,” that is available as a digital download from iTunes and CD Baby. Proceeds from the song’s sale will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise.
DANBURY — The venerable folk duo Aztec Two-Step, aka Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman, were often reviewed as having the “east coast sensibility,” “intellectual lyricism,” and supplying the “ethereal harmonies” of Simon & Garfunkel when critics got hold of their debut album in 1972. But over the course of their more than four decades performing together, the duo has also been the subject of a documentary entitled No Hit Wonder. So why not just hang up their well-worn guitar straps and cruise into retirement entrenched in semi-obscurity? According to Fowler, who connected for an engaging chat with The Newtown Bee ahead of the duo’s December 28 concert at the Danbury Palace theater, it’s because they still have many songs to sing, and even a few more to create together before ever considering anything resembling retirement.
This is the 15th and final installation of a series of stories that have shared special events that have taken place as Newtown began healing following 12/14. The series has also offered anecdotes from across the country, of people offering kind gestures on behalf of our town. To honor those killed on 12/14, and to help those who were affected by what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School that Friday morning just over a year ago, Chicago Musicians Care has released its recording of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” Available for purchase through iTunes, sales of the song will generate funds for the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund.
Students in Newtown High School art teacher Carol Skolas’s Advanced Placement Portfolio class have artwork on display until Friday, December 20, in the meeting room at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. The students involved were Becca Aimely, Hannah Bartlett, Emily Berube, Samantha Crawford, Jamie Duncan, Graham Johnson, Anna Pasacreta, Karleigh Rivard, Bella Saraceni, and Emma Sullivan. The pieces range in size and subject. Students spent time on Friday, December 13, placing the drawings and paintings on the walls of the meeting room. The collection can be viewed any time the library is open.
One of the many interesting things about my Aunt Helen is that while she was a diabetic on a strict sugar-free diet, she was a fabulous baker. Her cookies, cakes, and quick breads were a staple in her kitchen, there for the pleasure of the many townspeople who paused in their day to sit at the table and chew the fat (and some goodies) with her. My Uncle Ferd did not fare so badly, either, with a plate of raisin cookies or cream puffs close at hand, always. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the scent of Christmas: cookies baking, chocolate simmering, sweetness tainting the air. And of course, the overtones of the endless pot of coffee percolating, ready for the next visitor through the door.
Richard “Dick” and Gwen Bowers recently made a visit to Newtown, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple met in 1962, and were married the following year. They decided, said Mr Bowers, to return to the town where they met and lived during the first part of their marriage because "Newtown and the community of Sandy Hook are special places to us and we have many wonderful memorial that started for us in 1962." While here, Dick and Gwen stayed with longtime residents -- and family -- Donald and Linda Gover.
The Plunge For Sandy Hook event held at Lake Compounce on December 8 raised more than $26,000, surpassing its original $10,000 goal, for the My Sandy Hook Family Fund. At least two Newtown residents took the plunge into the cold water last weekend: Lauren Morehouse and Christina Wolf. The two women, who have been friends since attending second grade at Hawley Elementary School, were on a team of about 20 people, including family members of some of the victims at Sandy Hook School on 12/14. The Plunge For Sandy Hook was organized by Sean Cummings and Molly Goodine, who both told The Bee before the event that they wanted to do something to continue helping the families, one year after the events at the school.
As The Newtown Fund was preparing this week for Depot Day, the culmination of its annual Holiday Basket Program during which families in need are provided gifts and other items that will make their lives brighter, one Sandy Hook family was continuing a special tradition of its own. Since 2008, Sandy Hook resident Rosemary Trudell has organized a collection of toys and children’s clothing among the residents of Walnut Tree Village II. Her granddaughters have always helped with collecting and organizing the items for her, but older granddaughter Julia is at college this year and unable to help for the first time. This year it was just Mrs Trudell’s younger granddaugher, Haley, helping to organize and check on all the gifts that had arrived.